ENGLAND team bosses have agreed to let Somerset’s Craig Overton fulfill a long-standing promise to play in James Hildreth’s Twenty20 testimonial game at South Devon CC on Tuesday night.
Overton was one of his first to volunteer to play in the game at Newton Abbot, well before he was picked by England for the Twenty20 squad playing a three-match series against South Africa.
Overton won’t be required for the first game of the series, but is expected to replace Mike Wood on Friday when the South Africans visit Taunton.
If Overton is picked it will be his first full cap, although he has a cupboard full of Lions and under-19 caps garnered over the years.
Chris Hart, the South Devon president, said he was surprised and delighted England had agreed Overton could play in the match so soon before the game against South Africa.
“Craig was really keen to play and has been released by England to play in our game,” said Hart.
“I am truly surprised - I didn’t think he’d risk that three days before the T20 at Taunton.
“It is great news - quite extraordinary really.”
Ashes winner and former Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick is committed to playing in the match, as is Tom Abell. The team will be finalised tomorrow.
South Devon pulled in a crowd of around 900 for the Peter Trego Testimonial game two years ago and are hoping for a few more this time.
A VIP guest at the game will be Tony Sutton, a former South Devon captain who is Somerset’s oldest living ex-player.
Sutton, an off-spin bowler, played for Somerset in 1948 after finishing his studies at Oxford University. He was 96 earlier this year.
Start time for the match is 5.30 pm. Gates open several hours earlier. Admission is a fiver and includes a souvenir programme.